A voice from the commentary box on Saturday evening said, “When you don’t have momentum, you can’t get it, but when you have it, you almost can’t lose it.”

These words summarised the Mumbai Indians’ commanding performance against the Chennai Super Kings in front of their home ground in Wankhede.

The sea of blue was a delighted bunch at the end of the day, and a few whistles on the ground went silent.

It was Mumbai Indians’ day 

Mumbai Indians had the rub of green right from the start. The toss went their way and their skipper, Rohit Sharma didn’t hesitate a bit to say that he wanted to bat first.

Barring a few lucky escapes in the first two overs, the Mumbai Indians’ openers were flawless. They started cautiously and got through the first six overs unscathed. Dhoni could figure out at the post match ceremony where it all started to go wrong for his men – the wicketless first six overs.

Once the fielding restrictions were lifted, Parthiv Patel and Lendl Simmons were all set to go blizzard. With the licence to do so, the duo latched on to some ordinary bowling from CSK’s left arm spinners. A wonderful platform set by the opening duo allowed the Mumbai Indians to think 200 plus.

Bravo had to be introduced into the attack earlier than usual to stop the run flow. He indeed broke the 90-run opening stand. Lendl Simmons’ innings came to end after he had scored 65 crucial runs off 51 deliveries. CSK were able to get a few quick wickets in the middle. Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma couldn’t contribute much. Hardik Pandya didn’t trouble the scorers much.

The terrific Trinidadian 

The Jamaican, oops, the man from Trinidad, Kieron Pollard was too hot to handle on the day. He induced momentum to the Mumbai innings in the end overs. On Saturday evening he showed why he was one the most fearsome finishers in the shorter version of the game. One has to be amazed at his ability to reach out for balls bowled wide outside the off stump. Even if you bowl a ball kissing the wide line, he is able to use his long hands to slog it over the midwicket boundary.

On Tuesday, he took only 17 balls to score 41 runs. His brutal batting display unsettled the rhythm of CSK’s death bowlers. They were made to concede an array of extras in the end overs which eventually helped Mumbai set a target of 188 runs.

CSK's continuing batting woes

Chennai Super Kings batting woes continued. They lost Dwayne Smith  in the very first over of the innings. An awful umpiring decision didn’t help his cause.

We saw Michael Hussey playing his favourite shot – short arm jab over the mid-wicket yesterday. He would do that any day when he sees a short ball.

But at 39 years of age and with very little  match practice, is he the ideal replacement for the swashbuckling New Zealander, Brendon McCullum?  He hasn’t looked to be one as he has failed in consecutive matches. Unfortunately, Super Kings don’t have other options.

Faf du Plessis was given an extra life when he was at 14 after Lasith Malinga, at third man region, dropped a sitter. Du Plessis carried on and added 31 more runs. But his effort didn’t prove decisive.

It turned out to be Harbhajan Singh’s day with the ball as he sent CSK’s main men, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni, back to the hut in two consecutive balls. He missed the opportunity to get the third wicket of the over as he dropped Dwayne Bravo. But he had done enough damage with  two mighty scalps.

From then on, CSK never recovered. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Jadeja and Ashwin cleared the boundary ropes in the end overs but their efforts came in a little too late.

In the end CSK fell short of the target by 25 runs.

One sided affair

Contrary to expectations, the match between the teams that had finished in the top two spots, didn’t turn out to be a close contest. Credit for it goes to Pollard and Harbhajan. Mumbai Indians indeed played fearless cricket. They now have enough time to rest and get back to business before they play the finals in Kolkata on Sunday, May 24. The men in blue have given themselves a wonderful chance to script a tremendous comeback story.

On the other hand, Chennai Super Kings have a lot of questions to answer. They didn't seem to have as much of a yearning for victory as their opposition did. They might face a similar situation once again in the second qualifier.

But, one would expect a reversal of fortune for the Super Kings when they play amidst a sea of yellow in their captain’s home town, Ranchi, on Friday. They simply have to play better cricket for that to happen.